Mar 25 2012: Forty-Three Monochrome Illustrations From Girl Annual Number Six (1958)

If yesterday’s images by Edward Mortelmans from the 1958 edition of Girl Annual seemed to draw inspiration from the paintings of Laura Knight, the forty-three sampled monochrome illustrations seen here have no such unifying element beyond being largely executed in line and wash, and seeming largely unchanged in format from the kind of images that … Continue reading

Mar 24 2012: Four Colour Illustrations Showing Circus Life By Edward Mortelmans (Girl Annual, 1958)

For the first of four galleries of images culled from two different editions of Girl Annual – dating from 1958 and 1961 respectively – it seemed appropriate to single out this particular sequence of colour illustrations looking at circus life for their intrinsic interest. There’s something in Edward Mortelmans’ paintigs that reminds me of similar fine … Continue reading

The Invisible Hand, Pupaphobia and the Puppet State (NVA 11, 2013)

“The puppet is what best represents the position of man in today’s manipulated world. The hand of a puppeteer is always the hand of one who ‘leads’, the hand of the Great Manipulator. The puppet’s immobile expression, its inability to mimic, does not allow it to communicate the subtle oscillations of the soul, but it … Continue reading

Magic Show at QUAD Gallery (NVA, 2009)

The conjuror and the conceptual artist, the con-trick and the act of construction: each shares something deeper than its ‘con’ prefix, a connection that goes beyond linguistic roots to evoke focus and misdirection, suggestion and the act of ‘making visible’, the arts of provocation and end-of-pier entertainment. It’s a range made explicit in Jonathan Allen’s … Continue reading

Art Made By All, or Art in the Public Realm? (NVA, 2013)

“The enrichment of life calls inexorably for the analysis of the new forms taken by poverty and the perfection of the old weapons of refusal…” Raoul Vaneigem: The Revolution of Everyday Life (1967) “I tried to map a space where the everyday was the focus. An everyday that is at one level a source of … Continue reading

May 1 2011: Journey Out of Darkness: Expressionism in Leicester (NVA, 2010)

Journey Out Of Darkness: Expressionism in Leicester Given its Germanic connotations, perhaps it’s surprising to learn that the first artists to be designated as ‘Expressionist’ (in a catalogue accompanying an exhibition at the Berlin Secession in 1911) were the French painters more usually thought of as Cubists and Fauves, such as Braque, Matisse, Picasso, Derain … Continue reading